U.S. Renal Care Completes Second Round of COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution
USRC Thanks Staff, Administration, Partners for Aid in Fully Vaccinating Thousands of Patients, Caregivers, and Local Community Members
PLANO, Texas – U.S. Renal Care (USRC), a leading provider of dialysis services, announced it has completed administering the second round of mRNA vaccines to patients, ensuring better protection against the deadly coronavirus for thousands of vulnerable patients on dialysis.
The recently published “SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine Acceptability in Patients on Hemodialysis: A Nationwide Survey” from the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, demonstrated that patients are more likely to consent to the COVID-19 vaccine if it was provided by their dialysis center. The study was authored, in part, by USRC physician leaders, Mary Dittrich, MD, FASN, Chief Medical Officer of USRC and Geoff Block, MD, Associate Chief Medical Officer & SVP, Clinical Research & Medical Affairs for USRC.
Prior to the White House announcement that it would be partnering with dialysis facilities to distribute the vaccine, USRC internal data showed centers that were dispensing the vaccine had an average patient vaccination rate of 45%, while the overall population of vaccinated patients was only 16%. As a result of this recent organization-wide vaccination effort, the percentage of vaccinated USRC patients has increased from 34% to 67%.
“The administration of vaccine to our patients and their caregivers is a triumph made possible thanks to our dedicated staff, the leadership of the Biden administration and collaboration with our partners,” said Dr. Dittrich. “It’s clear that vaccination is the way out of this global crisis, and USRC is proud to have participated in this effort. Our data clearly show that patients are much more likely to accept vaccination from their dialysis center and familiar team of caregivers.”
After receiving access to the vaccine, USRC turned to longstanding distribution partner, Cardinal Health’s Metro Medical team. Metro expertly orchestrated a distribution process that separated large shipments of vaccine into smaller parcels and shipped to USRC clinics around the country at a controlled temperature. Coordinating with Pfizer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and DaVita Kidney Care, Cardinal Health developed a cold‐chain solution and shipped the first vaccines to USRC clinics just 19 days after the idea was proposed. USRC would also like to thank the team at DaVita, who acted as the network administrator to USRC and other dialysis centers, who were instrumental in managing the training, distribution, and tracking of vaccine across the country from start to finish.
In addition, and prior to distributing vaccines, USRC was among the first national kidney care organizations to obtain and distribute monoclonal antibodies for its dialysis patients. The therapy was initially rolled out in select locations across the country based on the prevalence of COVID-19 infection rates in those communities, and soon after, USRC reviewed the efficacy and tolerability of the therapy and worked with nephrologists to expand distribution to additional centers over time. It was vitally important to lead with innovation and to ensure its patients received uninterrupted care.
“This has certainly proven to be a trying time for all healthcare providers, but I am deeply humbled by the work of the USRC staff, our remarkable network of physicians, and our partners who joined forces to ensure the continuity of care for our patients during one of the most challenging years in recent history. We have hope that this next phase of vaccination represents a true turning point and indicates the beginning of the end to this pandemic,” Dittrich concluded.